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Between Sundays for Week of May 8, 2023

“Do not let your hearts be troubled. Believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house there are many dwelling places. … I go and prepare a place for you” Jesus says in this week’s gospel reading. Pastor Hoffman reflected in Sunday’s message that we often relegate the place Jesus promises to prepare for us to some distant heaven light years away.

Professor Angela Parker notes that those opening words: “Do not let your hearts be troubled…” might be better translated, “Do not let your collective heart be troubled.” In other words, Jesus is not speaking to the disciples as individuals. He is speaking to them as a group. Or to borrow Peter’s words from our first reading: “Once you were not a people, but now you are God’s people.” God’s people with one heart…and one mission: to carry on the work of loving and caring for one another, the work of Jesus.

Jesus has prepared a place for each and every one of us – not just in our heavenly home but here and now, in the community of Christ. “Like living stones, let yourselves be built into a spiritual house,” Peter writes (1 Peter 2:5).  Let our worn spots and jagged edges come together to be the church, each of us playing a vital part and integral to its structure.  No longer are we a collection of mismatched rocks, but living stones, built on Christ the cornerstone.

“Once you were not a people but now you are God’s people. Once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.” (1 Peter 2:10) We are this holy collection of living stones – we are the church – to share the story of a God who provides for us, who promises to be our home, now and in life everlasting.

Do not let your hearts be troubled, dear ones. We who once were not a people, are now God’s people, living stones called to be the church with and for each other.

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When Jesus promises to prepare a place for us, He’s not just talking about our heavenly home. We are God’s people, who prepare a place of love and care and mercy with and for one another. A mysterious doll family and a mailbox-house provided by the Powells (read more about them here) serve as a whimsical example of the ways that we are called to love and receive each other.


As we are dismissed from worship, we go in peace, since Christ is with us. Christ is with us on the way: Christ is our Way.

Cited from Daily Prayer, a 1941 publication by Eric Milner-White and George Wallace Briggs, in both Morning Prayer (p. 304) and Evening Prayer (p. 317) in Evangelical Lutheran Worship, is a beloved prayer that asks God to be with us as we journey on the way. “You have called your servants to ventures of which we cannot see the ending . . . knowing that your hand is leading us and your love supporting us.” We can think of Thomas’s question to Jesus as we pray this prayer.